Ask the world’s top designers or architects to name their preeminent source of luxurious antique and bespoke rugs and they’re likely to point to Doris Leslie Blau. According to AD, the “venerated carpet gallery” has a “dazzling variety” of rugs. Owner Nader Bolour presides over an incomparable inventory of patterns, colors, textures and weaves from Persia, Iran, China, India plus stunning, custom contemporary rugs designed in-house and woven by their exclusive mills.
Growing up in Iran, carpets were Nader’s playground. His distinguished family established Bolour & Sons in the 1920s in their homeland, gaining global recognition as among the most celebrated dealers in their field. Sensing the changing socio-political environment, the Bolour family relocated to London where they founded Y&B Bolour in 1978. There, Nader honed his knowledge about the carpet industry under the watchful, expert eye of his father. The younger Bolour developed an uncanny ability to understand both his buyer and the market he serves. From an early age, he became a leading voice on the international scene.
At age 16, Nader made the acquaintance of Doris Blau, America’s grande dame of antique rugs, with an eponymous gallery of her own known for a prized inventory and world-class service. Years later, after Nader had branched out to New York, to a stunning midtown loft space, the two met again. A friendship blossomed. In 1997, Nader purchased the Doris Leslie Blau Gallery. It was a brilliant move.
Nader’s success derives in part from the fact that he starts movements rather than follows trends. Known as a superb gallerist, curator of exhibitions and catalogues and event planner, he blends the historic with contemporary, the local with foreign. As well, the Internet exponentially globalized the carpet industry, a reflection of the quality of the company’s sophisticated website and blog. “Even designers not based in New York begin their search for preeminent carpets here,” says Nader. His unrelenting commitment to excellence, transparency, quality and design, at fair market pricing, contributed to his acknowledged leadership within his industry.
Agents representing important estates come to him to sell unique rugs. They know their heirlooms will be treated with respect and sold correctly. As well, among the icons of design who patronize the firm are Tommy Hilfiger, Amy Lau, Miles Redd, Mariette Himes Gomez and Cullman & Kravis.
“I see myself as a partner in the design process,” Nader says, referring to the clients and designers who come to him with an idea, a scrap of fabric or paper or a piece of tile and say, “Can you make this into a rug for me?” It’s been said that Nader helps develop the taste of the tastemakers. He gives his clients insight into their own imagination, so that they live with the idea that anything is possible. “After all, the soul of the room is in the carpet,” Nader explains.